A newscaster just said, "Me and my wife was driving to the mall when . . ." This is from the mouth of a man who has gone into and specialized in and become authoritative on communications. It's rampant.

A Plano, Texas, sportscaster says to Tom Brokaw, "Our sportscast is simply a conversation between he and I." Thousands of other broadcasters, with degrees in English and communications, perpetually say "between he and I," "gave it to she and they," "told my sister and I."Then there's the great reflexive cop-out, whereby everybody now uses "myself" when stymied in choosing between "I" and "me." This disease is rampant. Reflexive pronouns can't stand in for the other kinds. It's dead-wrong.

Samuel Johnson said that when a society no longer cares about standards or distinctions in language, it is in decline and the end can't be far off. They don't even care about it on the college level any more, by the way. They alibi that it's "drift." It is not. It's done by whim and chaos, and that is not the same thing as drift. This chaos is a result of sheer laziness.

Would teachers please spend the latter term of the 1994-95 academic year stressing that "between him and me," "bumped into Marge and me at the store," and "told Mabel and Agnes and her to go soak their heads" is correct English? It would achieve worlds more than a bunch of pointless busy work, which is ignored the moment one gets his SAT or GED.

Keith Moore

Salt Lake City